You really have to start questioning unemployment numbers from the State and the Feds. It’s a weird time. The unemployment rate for the nine-county Bay Area region dropped to 6.6% in August 2013 from 7% in July (See SF Bay Area Employment Trends page above). The actual level of employment ticked up slightly but it is still 12,000+ below the recent peak employment figure set in May of this year. But wait! The labor force dropped by more than 12,000 from July to August. Where have these people gone??? The state’s recent labor market news release didn’t touch on this but when you see the labor force drop sharply and employment rise slightly you get a big percentage movement. What does the unemployment rate really mean if so many people are dropping out of the job market? It’s like this picture. You can’t really tell if it’s a sunrise or a sunset. Does it matter?
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